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 Kohli hints at extra pacer considering overcast conditions

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Ind vs NZ 2nd Test |

Mumbai: India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday indicated that they may field an extra pacer in the second Test against New Zealand to exploit the likely change in conditions if persistent rainfall continues.

“There is a weather change and we have to keep that into account and pick the combination accordingly,” Kohli said on the eve of the match, hinting that the three-spinner strategy could be revised for this game.

It could pave the way for Mohammed Siraj’s inclusion in the playing XI.

“At the end of the day, you cannot assume weather conditions will remain like this over the five days.

“So, we need to see what bowling combination should be picked that can tackle in different conditions. If we reach a common understanding and if everyone agrees, we go in with that combination,” Kohli said.

The captain didn’t give any definitive answer about Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the side but to a slightly tweaked question how one communicates with players who are dropped, he gave an elaborate reply.

“You have to obviously understand the situation of where the team is placed. You have to understand where individuals stand at certain stages during the course of a long season, so you have to obviously communicate well,” Kohli said.

“You have to speak to the individuals and approach them in a way, which explain things to them properly and mostly it’s been combination based whenever we have done changes in the past.

On Saha, Kohli said, “as of now, Saha is fit.” “He has recovered from his neck spasm and is absolutely fine now,” he added but it remains to be seen whether he plays or team management trusts Srikar Bharat’s abilities.

The Indian captain termed it a quintessential Mumbai track with a lot of bounce where the batters would get value for their shots if they stay disciplined.

The drop in temperature and the covers being put on for longer periods of time can aid swing bowling, feels New Zealand’s senior pacer Tim Southee, who had troubled the Indian batters even on an unresponsive Green Park track in the previous game.

Asked how much of a help it will be for the pacers with pitch under cover due to heavy rain, Southee said: “That’s something we don’t know too much about. We’ll have to wait to know about it till we are up there.

“That’s something we have to adapt to. You try and assess the conditions as quickly as you can. With the covers on, it may offer more swing but who knows,” he said.

Southee however dead-batted the Neil Wagner question.

“Yes, those are the decision Kane and Gary will have to make in the next 24 hours. They will try and get a look at the wicket in the afternoon and make a decision considering the rain and the weather around,” he quipped.

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